10 Tips For Watching The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Live

UPDATE: Mariah Carey to perform LIVE – TMZ reports http://goo.gl/uiFCRU

1. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting is Wednesday, December 3rd. Show starts at 7pm ET and runs for two hours. The tree is lit a few minutes before 9pm ET.

2. Get there early. The best time is 3-4pm. This is when they start closing down the streets and filling in the barricades. If you are planning on arriving later than that you will NOT have a good view of the tree.

3. Plan on positioning yourself in these locations: On either side of the rink on 50th or 49th street or directly in front of Saks Fifth Avenue facing 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

4. There are no public restrooms anywhere near the tree so if you are planning on standing for hours waiting for the lighting make sure to go to before arriving.

5. DRESS WARM! Most of the time the night of the tree lighting is usually around 20-30 degrees and slightly windy. If you are standing out there for hours come prepared to stand in place because you can’t move once you are in position.

6. If you are coming just to see the musical performances you might as well stay home. All the performances take place on the ice and are not clearly visibly to anyone from the street.

7. All the artists announced DO NOT perform live. A few of them are pre-taped prior to the tree lighting. I have yet to see any announcements of who is performing. Some of the artists performing: Idina Menzel, Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, Cyndi Lauper, Seth MacFarlane featuring Sara Bareilles, Pentatonix, LeAnn Rimes, and Trisha Yearwood.

8. The best part about seeing the tree being lit is the additional lighting that is placed on the surrounding buildings and decorations on the ice. Makes for a better tree photo. Make sure to get that photo as soon as the tree is lit because the lighting on the surrounding buildings and all the decorations are quickly turned off and taken down within the hour after the tree is lit.

I took this seconds after the tree was lit in 2012.
The 2012 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

9. Tripods are not allowed anywhere in or around Rockefeller Center so don’t waste your time bringing them because security will stop you immediately.

10. If you are going just to take a picture of the tree lit, pick another day to photograph it.